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Information And Facts on The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Dog Breed

Jun 21, 2008
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only breed which takes its name from a fictional character in a book. In the novel written by Sir Walter Scott "Guy Mannering", there is a farmer by the name of Dandie Dinmont who owns several of these terriers of the variety bred in old Northumberland in England. From this novel came the name "Dandie Dinmont" to designate this terrier.

These little dogs were a hunting terrier with quite a reputation for scrappiness and bravery in the hunt. They were known before the publication of the novel by Sir Walter Scott as the "mustard and pepper" terriers. Historically, in England and Scotland, terriers who were owned by individual farmers were often called by the name of the farmer himself.

In this particular part of England where these terriers originated, if there was no "farmer name" then the "mustard and pepper" dog was the description. The name described a specific Terrier which was a very highly prized type of terrier, known to posses superior hunting ability. The breed was well known in both England and Scotland and Sir Walter Scott himself kept a number of these little dogs. As early as 1875 the first Dandie Dinmont Fancier club was formed.

The breed is a "big little dog" (quotation from Sir Walter Scott). He is 18-24 pounds, longer than he is tall. The head features a topknot with pendulous ears covered with shorter hair and a pom pom of some length at the bottom. Coat is "salt and pepper" and typically wiry in nature, as with most of the Terrier breeds this is a coat that must be "stripped" as the dead hairs will not shed normally.

The Dandie Dinmont is a "digging" terrier that will go to ground, having larger feet in the front is characteristic of this breed. The tail should be carried jauntily above the level of the back and is never docked. The two colors of this dog can be either the Mustard ( a pale fawn to tan, with the topknot being creamy) or the Pepper, (steel blue with a silvery topknot) Expressive and large, the Dandie's eyes can melt the heart of the most hardened soul.

This little Terrier has the courage of a lion and can get into serious arguments with larger creatures, even the Otter or Badger. They are a tough fighter but also a highly intelligent dog that is loyal and affectionate with its owner. They do not accept harsh training methods, as they are not overly strong willed and are quite willing to serve their human companion. They do have a strong terrier drive and instinct, a person who owns a Dandie does not have to worry about vermin or rodents on his property.

The Dandie Dinmont suffers from relatively few heritable conditions. The length of the back does make this dog susceptible to disc disease. It is wise to keep this dog lean to avoid any problems. Dandies appear to be quite tolerant of pain, this is probably due to their scrappy nature. Dandie owners are aware of this and pay careful attention to their dog, since they will not "tell you" as obviously as other breeds might, when they are hurting.
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For more information on the dandie dinmont terrier or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.
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